HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point Rockers swept a doubleheader from the Lancaster Barnstormers on Tuesday night at Truist Point. The Rockers came from behind in winning both games, taking the opener by a score of 2-1 and the nightcap at 4-2.
The sweep gives the Rockers a record of 18-8 on the season and a one-game lead over second place Gastonia (16-6) in the South Division of the Atlantic League.
The sweep was fueled by outstanding pitching performances, from starters Mickey Jannis in the opener and Neil Uskali in the second game, along with relievers Jeremy Rhoades, Jameson McGrane and Ryan Dull. Dull earned his fifth save of the season with his work in the nightcap.s
Jannis went seven innings, allowed three hits and one walk while striking out nine and left the contest with the score tied at 1-1. Rhoades pitched the eighth inning of the scheduled seven-inning affair and put the Barnstormers down in order to collect the win (4-0). Uskali allowed just three hits over five innings while striking out three and earned his first win of the season. The bullpen combined to throw three innings during the doubleheader without allowing a hit and striking out four. Dull earned the
In the opener, Lancaster scored first with a run in the second inning. Trayvon Robinson tripled and scored on an infield grounder to first by Chris Proctor. High Point tied the game in the bottom of the fourth when Zander Wiel slugged a solo homer, his fifth of the year, to knot the game at 1-1.
Jannis and Rhoades kept Lancaster’s offense in check with their pitching. After Rhoades shut down the ‘Stormers in the top of the eighth, the Rockers started the bottom of the eighth with John Daly at second. Michael Russell singled sharply to center to move Daly to third before Michael Martinez singled to right-center to plate Daly and give the Rockers the 2-1 walk-off win.
In the nightcap, Lancaster’s Kelly Dugan and Trayvon Robinson hit back-to-back doubles in the second and Jack Conley added an RBI single for a 2-0 lead. The Rockers battled back with a run in the third when D.J. Burt led off the inning with a double, moved to third on an infield out by Ryan Grotjohn and scored on a wild pitch by Lancaster’s Nile Ball. The Rockers tied the game in the fourth with a two-out double from Wiel and an RBI single from Ben Aklinski.
It was Burt, who made two acrobatic catches in centerfield during the twinbill, who keyed the Rockers’ final rally. He tripled to lead off the fifth but aggravated a leg injury and was replaced by John Daly at third. Daikang Yoh lifted a fly ball to right in which Daly was able to easily trot home with the go-ahead run. The Rockers added an insurance run in the sixth when Beau Taylor singled and moved to third on an infield single by Daly. But the throw to first from third baseman Andretty Cordero got past first baseman Joseph Carpenter allowing Taylor to score for a 4-2 final.
Michael Russell and Michael Martinez led the Rockers with a pair of hits each in the first contest. Burt had a team-high two hits in the nightcap.
High Point and Lancaster will meet again in the final game of the three-game series at 6:35 p.m. on Wednesday at Truist Point. The Rockers will send Sam Burton to the mound for his second start of the season.